Saturday, July 21, 2012


Yes, now is precisely the time to talk about gun control.

How does a person slowly sinking into the world of madness and schizoid delusion get a hold of so many guns?  Why do we allow this to happen?  Why what are we going to do about it?

I say a gun is a powerful tool - you don't just hand them out like lollipops.  Before you can legally get behind the wheel of a car, our society has collectively decided that you need some training.  Then you need to be tested on that training.  And if you flunk that testing, you can come back later and try again.  But you don't get the license until we as a society have determined that you are safe to operate a ton of steel.  That giant machine isn't designed to kill, but it could kill or do tragic damage if not operated safely.  We all easily agree that you don't just jump behind the wheel.

Why in the world do we let just anyone have a gun?

Now before anyone goes all bat-shit crazy on me about the supposed link between gun control and fascism, understand I'm not saying keep people from owning guns.  I come from a long line of hunters and I enjoy shooting some clay pigeons now and then.  What I'm saying is let's get some powerful programs that keep them in the hands of safe, sane, educated gun owners.

Rule #1 - no more gun shows.  I can't have a "liquor show" here in Minnesota because liquor sales are controlled by law.  Liquor has indirectly killed plenty of people, many of them innocent, but not directly.  Yet we are still OK with regulating it without screaming that our "rights" to alcohol are being trampled.

Rule #2 - put a ton of money behind treatment and research for mental illness.  Have lots of resources for folks slipping into delusion, including safe havens to live for as long as they need it.  Have a way to give them support.  And especially find a way to keep them away from weapons and explosives, such as daily visits at their home by a social worker.  Yeah it's going to fit right into their paranoid delusions but at least scores of innocent people can keep on living.

Rule #3 - mandatory gun safety training, testing, AND passing before you can get your hands on a gun.  You can't teach Kindergarten without 4 years of training, and your license can be revoked for illegal behavior.  Yet no one screams that their "right" to teach Kindergarten is being infringed.  We all accept that something as seemingly innocuous as teaching 5-year-olds can't be trusted to just anyone.

Rule #4 - allow random checks by trained authorities to make sure you are storing your gun safely and properly.  Three strikes and that gun is destroyed.   If you own a restaurant in America, you must pass multiple and random inspections by the Health Department.  If they find something amiss or unsafe, you get a hefty fine.  If it's really egregious you are shut down.  And no one screams about their "rights".  In fact, we all like that someone is taking a peek in that kitchen now and then.

Rule #5 - allow the manufacture of gun safety locks that can only be opened by the owner's password or fingerprint or whatever.  Mandate that all gun owners buy one and use it.  We all agree that seat belts in cars and life jackets in boats are necessary safety equipment, and that a fine will be issued if you aren't wearing one.

Rule #6 - repeal all conceal and carry laws.  They're just stupid.  If you have a license to carry that gun, put it out in the open where we all can see it and stay the hell away.

Rule #7 - this isn't a rule, just an observation.  The chance that an actual intruder will enter your home, and that you will safely defend your family with that gun is rather minuscule.  Scary?  You bet.  But statistically it's a very slim chance it'll ever happen.  However the chance that the very same gun will accidentally hurt or kill someone in your family is HUGE.  So why would you invited a blood-thirsty murdering machine into your home to protect you from a whisper?  That's insane.


Kireliols said...

You really need to run for office.

Anonymous said...

You know I love getting my limit on clay birds, too, and yet there's nothing in your post I disagree with.

I think the "slippery slope' argument about gun control is total b.s., especially since people who use it never apply it to other freedoms. Why will a ban on assault rifles inevitably end up taking away the right to own a gun of any kind? If that's the case, wouldn't the slippery slope argument dictate that banning the construction of new mosques would inevitably lead to banning the construction of any new houses of worship regardless of denomination? Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, habeas corpus... why aren't people screaming about the slippery slope and the 2nd Amendment worried about the slippery slope in all its forms? Maybe the NRA used to be interested in protecting hunter's rights once upon a time, but now the've become whores for the manufacturers of assault weapons and armor piercing bullets. Their only interest is in the money making machine that is the NRA.

Brian Hall said...

All these are seemingly well-thought out ideas that would probably work. People need to understand that gun control isn't about keeping guns out of the hands of everybody, it's about keeping them out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them.

If you are a law-abiding, trained gun owner, you shouldn't be worried about gun control but instead you should be on the forefront of gun control laws to make sure that a few bad apples don't spoil the bunch.

Jeni said...

I understand from whence your post comes -totally -and I'm thinking probably most everyone with a modicum of sanity across the country agrees to some extent or other on every point you made. However, sadly, there aren't always that many markers to give society any clues to what brings this type of tragedy on. There may be some subtle signs of a problem but perhaps not to people who have the ability to actually do anything about them when observed. We already do have many gun laws in place, varying in each and every state too -not really uniform but we have to realize too, going back as far as the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy that gun laws do not prevent killings. Personally, I do not see the need for individuals to own things like assault rifles and such and I have would have no problem seeing them banned from sales to the everyday person, ya know. It's such a hairy thing to try to figure out what could possibly be utilized to prevent such things as happened Friday to ever happening again but I do think -for starters -better understanding, better access for ANYONE/EVERYONE to good mental health care is very needed.